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Upcoming stretch crucial for LAFC’s postseason push

The next four matches for LAFC could either make or break their chances at the playoffs this season.

SOCCER: AUG 15 MLS - LAFC at Atlanta United FC Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With only 15 games left on the schedule, every match the black-and-gold play from now on is essentially a must-win. This next four-match stretch, however, will be the most important for LAFC’s push for the postseason.

Three of the next four opponents are teams that are above them in the Western Conference. Not only that, but after their next match, a trip to Vancouver, they get the luxury of three straight at The Banc. It also marks the last such stretch at home that the team get for the rest of the season.

Saturday @Vancouver: The next match for LAFC will be their third and final match on the road in this short trip away. Having lost the last two, the team will be looking to bounce-back with a bit of revenge. While Vancouver has been hovering around the bottom of the West all season, LAFC know first-hand this is far from an easy opponent. The last time these two met, the Whitecaps jumped out to a two-goal lead in the opening 40 minutes. LAFC were able to fight for a draw, but this time around they’ll need all three points.

Aug. 28 vs. LA Galaxy: The team open up the homestand the biggest way possible, with a rivalry match. The Galaxy are 12 points clear of LAFC, sitting in third place in the West, in a fight for first. Chicharito is still recovering from an injury earlier in the season, but there is a chance this could be the match he makes his return. Either way, the likes of Jonathan dos Santos, Efrain Alvarez, and Rayan Raveloson will be looking to remind everyone who they think runs LA. This match needs no explanation, or hype. This will be a must-win, if not for the points, for pride.

Sept. 3 vs. Sporting KC: But it doesn’t get any easier for the squad. After what is sure to be a physical, emotional rivalry match, fresh off the heels of MLS All-Star Week, the team welcome Western Conference leaders Sporting KC. This will be the second time in a month that SKC visits The Banc. The last time here, the visitors made short work of LAFC, scoring three goals in the first half, en route to a four-goal performance. While the black-and-gold won't be fighting for the top spot themselves, a win here could instill belief in the side that they can still beat the very best in the league.

Sept. 12 vs. Real Salt Lake: Without a doubt, this will be the most important match in terms of playoff implications. At the time of this writing, Real Salt Lake are only one point ahead of LAFC, in the sixth position. With only seven postseason spots up for grabs, that makes RSL a direct rival in the playoff push. It stands to reason that they will likely be close on points, and fighting for one of the final postseason spots, when they meet up in mid-September. Luckily for LAFC, this is also the only team of the next four that they actually defeated the last time they met, with LAFC getting the 79th minute game-winning goal, courtesy of Carlos Vela.

What do you think of the next stretch of matches? Leave a comment below!